30 Things I’ve learned in 30 years

My birthday is coming up very soon and since I’ve been having lots of contractions on and off , I don’t think I will last until my due day month of August. I thought I would share what I’ve learned in my 30 years. It will not be in any order, it will be just random thoughts that pop into my head as I write. I just hope I can think of 30 things. Here we go!

  1. My mamma always told me in Portuguese, “You catch bees with honey.” This saying has many interpretations but what I took from it is, to be kind, it will take your further than rudeness.
  2. Being patient does not mean you sit around waiting for something to happen. You have to work hard even if it means waiting forever to see the outcome of your hard work.
  3. Crying and letting your emotions out does not mean you are weak, it means you have courage to deal and confront with your problems and emotions.
  4. Mothers are always right! My mamma told me I will understand her when I have kids of my own and oh boy was she right about that!
  5. My crown is my hijab. I wear my faith on my head and there is nothing more powerful than that. It keeps me in check and conscious of my every action.
  6. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. First impressions are not the most important at all. Great people can pass right by you because of misjudging at first glance.
  7. Everyone has a story worthy of telling. Worldly problems can be solved through story telling, we would soon discover how similar we are than different.
  8. You can’t change the world but you can work in changing yourself and hopefully something good will come out of it.
  9. Things never happen according to our plans. It doesn’t mean we can’t work hard towards our goals and dreams. But I strongly believe that God has a better plan than we do. There are things that we want right now that can actually harm us, if our plans are shifted by God’s will it’s for a purpose.
  10. If something is meant to cross your journey it will and if it is not meant it will not.
  11. Never assume! So much negativity comes out from assuming something of someone or situation. The truth is only God knows our true intentions and if we don’t ask because we assume we know everything than we stay in a stage of ignorance.
  12. The best stories come from our elderly friends. Truly they are like libraries, if we do not communicate with them, we miss out on a lot of experiences, expertise and knowledge.
  13. To take care of your health. Health is best richness we will ever have. Health is worth more than money. We shouldn’t take health for granted and try to take care our body, mind and soul as much as we can.
  14. Society has undertaken the value of a mother. Being a stay at home mother is viewed as a failure in life and a waste of time. Stay at home mothers don’t get the same respect as a women who establishes her career and is aggressive in the workforce.
  15. Societies that value and support motherhood are overall a more successful society. Take some European countries as an example, such as, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands ect. look at their crime rates and quality of life.
  16. Peace and tranquility lies in the remembrance of God and not in beautiful island far away.
  17. Men and women are not created equal that doesn’t mean we are not equally important and valued. I should not strive to be the same as men nor should I want to strive to be like a men for the sake of his manhood but for his motives and accomplishments. Giving men the standard of what a women should strive for is just reiterating that women are inferior and to be superior like them, we should work to be the same as them.
  18. A person’s self value does not come by the things one has or achievements but rather by ones intentions and good action.
  19. What use does knowledge have if one uses for evil?
  20. Knowledge is everywhere it is not restricted by standard education.
  21. You may look to your right and find someone who is in much better situation than you but if you look to your left you will find someone else in a worst situation. Be grateful.
  22. Look for the things that you do have and not what you don’t have.
  23. Don’t take your mood out on people. This is actually very hard for me because I can’t control my emotions very well, whether its anger, sadness or happiness so I tend to act the way I feel but the reality is, no one deserves to be treated unkindly only because we are not having a good day.
  24. Everything has it’s time. Another one that is hard for me as well. We might see everyone else successful around us while we are stuck in a puddle but we don’t know what the future has installed for us.
  25. There is no such thing as a picture perfect. What we see in the exterior might not be what we really think it is. Doesn’t mean someone that looks happy in the exterior is actually in a stage of contentment.
  26. This wordily life is not meant to find happiness it is meant to find God and our purpose in this life.
  27. Kids are not a burden they are a blessing. I am tired of hearing how expensive and time consuming kids are. There is nothing more worthy in this world than passing along your legacy and hard work that one puts towards raising your kids.
  28. Let go a bit! I used to pride myself of being spontaneous and going with the flow. Now, I feel I am very controlling and have to organize my time. Although, I believe it is good to have some sort of organization in your life, it is important to let go of things and try to enjoy unpredictable moments.
  29. Traveling is the most enlightening experience in the world.
  30. Spend your money wisely. Oh how I wish I could take my own advise!

Wow, I can’t believe I made it to number 30 and I can’t wait to have 60/70/80 and 90 more tricks under my sleeve. Let me know what were some of your life’s biggest lessons. I would love to learn from you.

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Ramadan Series-Day 18

I found this article bellow from Egypt-business.com and had to share it.

How does Ramadan affect Egyptian economy?

Market hype, gigantic TV Series budgets and EGP30 billion spent on food has prompted people to call for cutting down luxuries during the holy month.

Digital and traditional media are busy with calls for cutting down the purchase of luxury goods during Ramadan in an attempt to save foreign currency.

Ramadan is a high season for importing goods especially food commodities. This year merchants reported less imports as they predicted low consumption rates due to lower pound value and rising prices.

It is clear Ramadan has a different nature than the rest of the year, but in what arenas does it affect Egypt’s economy? The answer is fourfold.

1- Business:

In most public and private enterprises the working hours are reduced by (a maximum of) two hours during Ramadan. Managers also reported low productivity rates of employees that reaches between 30-35% besides many companies postponing events and decisions till after the holy month.

Trading in the stock markets typically slows down during Ramadan as the trading hours are usually reduced by one hour.

2- The Market:

Unlike business, the market gets a boost during Ramadan especially the food division.

Ramadan in Egypt is highly characterized by higher consumption of food products leading to higher prices and higher profit margins for merchants. It is true that high consumption can lead to economic growth, however it’s a short term/seasonal growth in this case.

A study by the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) affiliated with the cabinet had stated that the average Egyptian family spending on food is EGP 200 billion per year, 30 billion of these are during Ramadan. Leading to recording 70% more consumption than any other month.

Restaurants and Cafes report an average of 80% increase in their customers, especially these that offer entertainment.

In April CBE assigned $120 million for importing food products to prepare for Ramadan.

3- TV Series and Advertising:

As the Hollywood of the Middle East, Egypt is known for exporting series and the peak of series’ production is none but Ramadan. Critics claimed that this year’s productions exceeded 70 series and shows with a budget that surpassed EGP 2.5 billion.

4- Charity:
Ramadan also represents the peak season for charity organizations as after the whole month it declines again. Banks have already started since May preparing for receiving donations. 57357 Hospital, Magdy Yacoub foundation, Misr Al-Khair, Egypt’s Food Bank and many others are among the most famous charities receiving donations in Ramadan.

Ramadan Series-Day 17

I used to roll my eyes upon hearing my friends telling stories of Ramadan in their home countries. Part of my attitude was due to ignorance, not knowing what Ramadan was like in a Muslim country. The other was triggered by jealously upon hearing stories about family gatherings and traditions that I was not able to create with my non Muslim family.

This is my second Ramadan in Egypt and I must say that my friends were right, celebrating this month in a Muslim country is very different than in the United States. However, there are both cons and pros being in these two countries during the holy month.

Pros of Ramadan in Egypt;

  • The whole country evolves around this month. People are able to go to work a little later and/or come home early to break their fast. Image result for ramadan in egypt
  • The streets are lighten with Ramadan decorations.
  • After breaking the fast, the streets are filled with excitement and movement.
  • Eating many traditional foods and sweets
  • People are more prosperous towards each other. This month is also a great month for giving charity. Therefore, people make a great effort to feeding the poor, giving money to beggars and donate unwanted stuff.
  • There is less chaos during the hours of fasting.
  • Family/friends visiting each other to break the fast together.
  • Three days off to celebrate the end of Ramadan

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Cons of Ramadan in Egypt:

  • The daily routines get thrown out of the window. People stay up in the late hours at night and wake up super late.
  • The heat is beyond unbearable.
  • People tend to eat a lot and unhealthy during this month defeating the purpose of eliminating excess consumption and building empathy for those who do not have food to eat on a daily basis.
  • There is a stigma for eating in public for the people that exempt from fasting, for example, if you are a pregnant woman, breastfeeding mother, sick, on the menstruation cycle or even a Christian it is very hard to eat in public without judgment.
  • As a woman, you are not able to assist the Friday prayer and the extra prayer at the mosque

Pros of Ramadan in United States:

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  • Routine, the fact that it is Ramadan does not change the daily duties and responsibilities that need to be preformed. Although, the country does not change to support the Muslims during this month, actually can have great benefits, such as being organized on what you need to do towards your Islamic practices throughout the day and how one is going to accomplish the goals one sets for himself during this month.
  • Getting invited to friend’s house and enjoying a different culture and traditions while breaking the fast.
  • Going to the mosque and praying the extra prayer as a woman.
  • More changes to demonstrate Islam in a positive away and break the misconceptions seen in the media. Image result for ramadan in united states
  • No judgment if a Muslim is walking down the street holding a cup of coffee.

Cons of Ramadan in the United States:

  • No understanding from your job if you all the sudden are less productive and tired at work.
  • Breaking the fast during break time which sometimes consist of a 30 minute break, where we have to eat, drink and pray.
  • Life doesn’t stop in this month so if one is not organized, one can loose many opportunities for extra good deeds, charity and prayers.
  • No payed holiday for celebrating the end of Ramadan unless one uses his own vacation or personal time.
  • Not hearing the call for prayer and enjoying the Quran being recited in the streets.
Disclaimer:These are my personal experiences in both of the countries during Ramadan. It isn’t by any means a whole representation each of these countries.

P.S: I would love to hear what Ramadan is like where you live. Comment down bellow, where you are currently living and what are your Ramadan traditions.